From Miami Vice in the 1980s to Providence vice in the 1970s. Thirty years removed from chasing bad guys on the sun-drenched streets of South Florida, Don Johnson is playing deceased New England mobster Gerard (The Frenchman) Ouimette in the first of two upcoming films about the notorious Bonded Vault Heist. Titled simply Vault, the movie just wrapped shooting.

Rising as far as any non-Italian organized crime figure ever has in east coast mafia circles, Ouimette died behind bars of natural causes in 2015 at 75 years old. He was in charge of a crew of hoodlums in Rhode Island that pulled off the audacious 1975 robbery of a series of safety deposit boxes belonging to local gangland figures located in a private bank inside a Providence furrier that yielded $30,000,000 in cash and valuables. Although Ouimette himself didn’t take part in the heist, his brother John, did, acting as his point man for the eight-person job. His nephew, Walter Ouimette, participated, too.

The boost of the Bonded Vault Bank was allegedly put into motion and sanctioned by New England mob boss Raymond Patriarca, who was angered at his own men for not providing him more monetary assistance while he was incarcerated. Oscar-nominated actor Chazz Palminteri is cast as Patriarca, a born-and-raised Rhode Islander. Patriarca died of a heart attack in 1984.

Ouimette was one of Patriarca’s favorite and most trusted lieutenants. As a state prisoner from the mid-1990s until his death three years ago — locked up on an extortion conviction –, Ouimette penned a book about the city of Providence. When he died, he was a suspect in a number of unsolved mob hits dating back decades.

Gerard Ouimette

Don Johnson shot to international fame for his role in the iconic 1980s television cop show, Miami Vice, playing narcotics detective Sonny Crockett, known for his pastel-colored wardrobe ensembles, Ferrari automobile and living on a house boat with his pet alligator, “Elvis.” Johnson won a Golden Globe award for his portrayal of Crockett.

Vault is being financed by Verdi Productions, which sold foreign distribution rights to The Solution Group last week. Based out of Providence, Verdi Productions put out Bleed For This in 2016, a story about Rhode Island pro boxing champion Vinnie Pazienza. First-time director Tom DeNucci helmed Vault, slated to hit theatres later this year.

 

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